I have managed to read 73 books in total this year - I'm pretty happy with that but admit I would like to do even more reading in 2009 if possible. I find I am having less and less time to read so I will have to look into that!
When going through my list to find my best reads of 2008 I was keeping note of quite a few books but I am going to be brutal and just list my top five reads of this year.
1. The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
This book just simply blew my mind when I read it early in the year - I raved about it to everyone I met. In some ways such a simple premise (having 'death' as the narrator of the story) but the setting, characters and storyline combine to make this book incredible and moving. I rarely cry when reading books but this one had me sobbing. That's not to say it is all doom, gloom and tragedy - there is a lot of hope written throughout this story. Easily my best read of 2008.
2. Unaccustomed Earth - Jhumpa Lahiri
When I read this book in August I claimed that I had found a new favourite author and I'm going to stand by that claim now. I was not a short story reader at all before discovering Lahiri's work but I sure am now. These stories are so simple and yet amazing at the same time. If you haven't read this one I suggest you do!
3. A Room With A View - E.M. Forster
I read this book for the Classics Challenge (which I unfortunately didn't finish in time but that's another story!). I had seen movie versions of the book before but this was my first time actually reading the story - and I absolutely loved it. I am an E.M. Forster convert now and am currently reading Howards End.
4. The Hour I First Believed - Wally Lamb
It had been a long wait for a new Wally Lamb book so, the truth be told, I was probably going to have this on my list no matter what it was like! Having said that though, this book was an epic, fantastic read.
5. Case Histories - Kate Atkinson
The book that brought me back to the crime genre - an area I hadn't really read in since my high school days. Kate Atkinson's writing is so absorbing - I found myself not being able to put this one down until I had reached the end - and then I just wanted more!
So, there it is - my top 5 reads of 2008. I keep looking over my list and seeing so many wonderful books that have missed out - maybe I should have done a top 10...